Special Issues » Annual Manual

2018's biggest annual events in Orlando

by

comment

APRIL

Florida Film Festival

April 6-14, 2018; Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland; 407-629-1088; floridafilmfestival.com

Whether you're a fan of dramas, comedies, documentaries or shorts, the Florida Film Festival has it all.

Florida Music Festival

April 12-14, 2018; downtown Orlando, multiple venues; floridamusicfestival.com

A downtown music festival geared toward artists looking to break into the major-label industry.

Whiskey Business

April 27, 2018; Cheyenne Saloon, 128 W. Church St.; whiskeybusinessorlando.com

At this upscale and sophisticated event, guests can sample their way across continents to discover the best scotches, bourbons and whiskeys.

MAY

Orlando Fringe

May 15-28, 2018; Loch Haven Park, 777 E. Princeton St.; orlandofringe.org

Thespians from all over the world descend on the theater complex at Loch Haven for two weeks of performances.

Beer 'Merica

May 19, 2018; Gaston Edwards Park, 1236 N. Orange Ave.; orlandoweeklytickets.com

Celebrating American Craft Beer Week, this daylong beer festival on the shore of Lake Ivanhoe spotlights more than 100 varieties of American craft brews, along with live music, games and giveaways.

MegaCon

May 24-27, 2018; Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive; megaconorlando.com

Central Florida's largest comic and media convention brings in big names from the worlds of television, film, comics and more for a huge celebration of pop culture.

JUNE

Gay Days/One Magical Weekend

May 29-June 4, 2018; multiple locations; gaydays.com; onemagicalweekend.com

Organized trips to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando resorts during the day, themed parties every night.

Bite30

June 1-30, 2018; multiple locations; bite30.com

A monthlong celebration of the best food Central Florida has to offer, with special prix fixe menus at each participating restaurant.

Bite Night

June 25, 2018; Orchid Garden, 126 W. Church St.; bitenightorlando.com

Bite Night transforms the historic Orchid Garden Ballroom into a foodie wonderland featuring samples from more than 20 of Orlando's best-loved chefs and restaurants.

JULY

Fireworks at the Fountain

July 4, 2018; Lake Eola Park, North Eola Drive and East Robinson Street; cityoforlando.net

Nothing says patriotism like the "oohs" and "ahhs" elicited by the choreographed firework and light show at Lake Eola each year.

Tacos & Tequila

July 14, 2018; Cheyenne Saloon, 128 W. Church St.; tacosandtequilaorlando.com

Peak-taco deniers get to try dozens of takes on everyone's favorite Tex-Mex one-handed treat – along with plenty of tequila and cerveza.

AUGUST

Best of Orlando

Aug. 22, 2018; The Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave.; orlandoweekly.com

Annual party in honor of Orlando Weekly's Best of Orlando winners. If you snag a ticket to this exclusive party, congratulations: We like you.

SEPTEMBER

United We Brunch

Sept. 8, 2018; Orchid Garden, 126 W. Church St.; unitedwebrunch.com

Orlando's top brunch destinations unite for one big day party featuring unlimited brunch tastings and an open bar.

Halloween Horror Nights

Sept. 14-Nov. 3, 2018; Universal Studios, 6000 Universal Blvd.; halloweenhorrornights.com

This year's Halloween Horror Nights features a Stranger Things house, and that's probably all you need to know.

The Great Orlando Cocktail Party

Sept. 29, 2018; Location TBA; orlandoweekly.com

A celebration of Orlando's craft cocktail scene, with samples from the city's best bars and speakeasies along with live entertainment.

OCTOBER

Come Out With Pride

Oct. 13, 2018; Lake Eola Park, 512 E. Washington St.; comeoutwithpride.com

Our favorite downtown parade party celebrates the LGBTQ community.

Big Gay Brunch

Oct. 13, 2018; The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive; orlandoweekly.com

Before the big gay parade, come eat and drink with Orlando Weekly and check out surprise performances at our big gay brunch.

Orlando Film Festival

Oct. 18-25, 2018; Cobb Plaza Cinema Café, 155 S. Orange Ave.; orlandofilmfest.com

The Orlando Film Festival has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, and now brings hundreds of independent films and filmmakers downtown for a week of screenings, panels and parties.

Creative City Project: Immerse

Oct. 19-20, 2018; Downtown Orlando; creativecityproject.com

Immerse offers up a whole weekend of live performing arts scattered throughout public spaces in the heart of downtown Orlando.

Spooky Empire

Oct. 26-28, 2018; Caribe Royale Orlando, 8101 World Center Drive; spookyempire.com

This convention for horror fans descends on I-Drive, bringing actors, musicians, makeup specialists, tattoo artists and more for a ghoulishly fun weekend.

Central Florida Veg Fest

October, 2018; Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St.; cfvegfest.org

Chow down on some cruelty-free cooking at this event for vegetarians, vegans and open-minded omnivores. Learn about veg living and get an up-close look at some of the animals spared when you opt for a salad instead of a Baconator.

NOVEMBER

Orlando Beer Festival

Nov. 10, 2018; Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St.; orlandobeerfestival.com

Orlando's only large-scale legitimate craft beer festival that attracts brewers and guests from all over Florida.

Florida Blue Florida Classic

Nov. 18, 2018; Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place; floridaclassic.org

Annual football game between Bethune-Cookman University and Florida A&M.

DECEMBER

Sweet and Savory

Dec. 1, 2018; Location TBA; orlandoweekly.com

A night of desserts, drinks and delicious dishes, served up by top local and regional artisans.

Christmas in the Park

Dec. 6, 2018; Central Park, North Park Avenue and West Morse Boulevard, Winter Park; morsemuseum.org

The Morse Museum decorates Central Park with stained glass windows and the Bach Festival Choir performs a Christmas concert.

Grandma Party Bazaar

December 2018 (date TBA); Stardust Video & Coffee, 1842 E. Winter Park Road; stardustie.com

Handmade crafts from local artisans and live music from local bands make this our favorite stop for holiday shopping.

JANUARY

Zora! Festival

January 2019 (dates TBA), downtown Eatonville, Kennedy Boulevard, Eatonville, zorafestival.org

Eatonville's most famous writer gets a festival in her honor every year featuring live music, arts and educational activities.

Citrus Bowl

Jan. 1, 2019; Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place; floridacitrussports.com

The Citrus Bowl plays host to top college teams every New Year's Day.

FEBRUARY

Lunar New Year Dragon Parade

February 2019 (date TBA), Fashion Square Mall, 3201 E. Colonial Drive, centralfloridadragonparade.org

Formerly taking place in Mills 50, this Lunar New Year celebration got so big that it had to move to the Fashion Square Mall in 2015.

Orlando Chili Cook-Off

February 2019 (date TBA); Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St.; orlandochilicookoff.com

This event brings the heat with more than 100 different types of chili to sample, the World Chili Eating Championship competition, live music and more.

MARCH

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

March 2019 (dates TBA); Central Park, Winter Park; wpsaf.org

Browse through booths from tons of artists and vendors at one of the country's oldest, largest and most prestigious juried art festivals.

Art31

March 2019, multiple locations, art31.org

The Art & History Museums – Maitland sponsors this monthlong celebration featuring internationally acclaimed artists every year.

Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival

March 2019 (dates TBA); Sunshine Grove, Okeechobee; okeechobeefest.com

The annual Okeechobee Fest is the area's biggest international music festival, drawing thousands to the swamp for four days of fun.